Jamie Christensen is a big fan of the Rocky Mountain Rodeo Association. “Every Rocky Mountain rodeo I go to is big, it’s fun, and it’s […]
Written by: Lily Landreth< Back to Articles
“Rodeo is just what I love and I couldn’t imagine my life without it,” says 16-year-old Abi Deveraux. “It keeps me sane and I love going down the road and spending the spring, summer and fall with people just like me.” Abi is starting her second year of competing in the WHSRA, but she has been rodeoing since she was five years old. Her dad, Craig Deveraux, was a PRCA saddle bronc rider who competed for many years before retiring from the sport. He is Abi’s rodeo coach and role model. “He’s basically the reason that I’m able to do rodeo,” Abi says of her dad. “I’m not kidding when I say I wouldn’t be anywhere without my parents.”
Abi competes in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping, and team roping. “Whatever I’m winning at is the one I like best at the time!” she says. Abi’s barrel and team roping horse is a gray gelding named Chopo. Abi bought him in 2013 and she says they are beginning to figure things out between the two of them. She competes in pole bending on her buckskin ranch mare Penny, who is just a fun horse to ride, according to Abi. The little mare took them to the NHSFR in their event in 2013. Finally, Abi’s breakaway horse is a red roan named Benny. “He’s one of those horses that you can cover a lot of country on in one day, and rope calves in the arena on him the next,” Abi says.
The Deveraux family lives about eight miles outside of Newcastle, Wyo. Abi’s parents are Craig and Jolene Deveraux, and she also has twin 13-year-old brothers, Jake and Cooper. They will be starting junior high rodeo this year. The three siblings enjoy practicing together, and Abi says, “The best practice sessions are when we’re all together. It’s intense and we’re all going like crazy!” The Deveraux family has cow/calf pairs and yearlings that they run on their two ranches that are 14 miles apart. They also hold a horse sale every year in June. “We keep about 45 horses around here. We’re constantly riding them,” Abi explains. Her dad buys prospective horses and the family finishes training any of the green horses they buy. “I have ten horses that I could hop on to practice on at any time. That’s how I stay sharp – I have a whole pen of talented horses to ride,” says Abi.
Abi is a sophomore at Newcastle High School. She enjoys her Ag. class and playing basketball on her school’s team. She is also involved in FFA judging horses, and she will be going to state FFA in the near future. In her free time, Abi enjoys spending time with her family, from playing cards to watching movies together or enjoying a lively conversation. If she had a day to do whatever she wanted, Abi says, “We’d start the day off saddling up a couple of good horses and I’d ride with my brothers. Then maybe we’d go fishing while it’s hot, then come back and rope.”
Abi’s goals for the coming year are to qualify for the NHSFR again and work towards winning a state championship. “Last year at nationals I qualified in poles, but I’d like to qualify in more events this year. I’d be most proud of a breakaway or goat tying championship.” Abi is interested in studying a subject related to sports medicine in college and she says, “I definitely want to college rodeo if I can and find a way to the WPRA.”